UTAH [2-1, 0-1 Pac-12] @ BYU [1-1, Independent] -- High-flying Utes offense meets longtime in-state rival Cougars with bowl eligibility momentum on line for both sides.
BYU comes into game following week off after beating Texas in Provo. Cougars will face each of its in-Utah rivals in 3-week span, with road test @ Utah State Oct. 4. Utes rank 3rd among Pac-12 scoring offenses @ 49.3 points/game, buoyed by 70-point outpouring against hapless FCS Weber State. Saturday's contest figures to be close, as rivalry has been decided by TD or less in 13 of previous 16 encounters. BYU's defense, led by All-America weakside LB KYLE VAN NOY, must devise schemes to halt Utah's 556 yards/game average over 3 games. Utes lost in OT last week to Oregon State and will take week off following this game. Utah QB TRAVIS WILSON [50-80-845-7 TD-3 INT] is also adept as ballcarrier [24-244-5 TD]; Wilson ranks 5th overall in Pac-12 total offense. Utes have ultra-reliable K in ANDY PHILLIPS [5-5 FG, 19-19 PAT]. Cougars offense is powered by RB JAMAAL WILLIAMS [63-326-5.2] who averages 163 yards/game. Right behind him is mobile QB TAYSOM HILL [28-301-5 TD] who adds another 150 to BYU's resounding 368.5 yards/game average. Cougars through 2 games have 15 TFL plus 2 sacks, defensive unit paced by Van Noy and MLB UANI UNGA, who began college career @ Oregon State. BYU plays one of FBS's most challenging schedules, facing 10 potential bowl teams over 12 weeks. Following trip to Utah State, Cougars have future away challenges @ Houston, Wisconsin, Notre Dame and home contests vs Georgia Tech and Boise State. The Series: 95th meeting in series that began in 1896. Utah has won 56 games to 34 for BYU with 4 games ending in ties. Last Utah win: 2012, Utah 24, BYU 21 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Last BYU win: 2009, 26-23 [OT] in Provo, Utah. Utes own 3-game win streak over Cougars. Last Utah win in Provo: 2011, 18-17. Kickoff: 7:15 p.m. PDT/10:15 p.m. EDT. TV: ESPN2.